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Is Breaking Bad the best show ever?

Is Breaking Bad the best show ever?

Fri September 21, 2012 11:32am

AS the Emmys prepare to reward the best of TV, news.com.au writers Owen Vaughan and Chris Paine clash over the heavily tipped crime drama.

Your life's not over if you haven't seen Breaking Bad | Owen Vaughan

Before fans get hysterical and accuse of me being a crystal meth head, this isn't an article bagging Breaking Bad. I haven't seen it but I know it's great drama, featuring sharp writing and excellent acting. The blurb lines on the DVD box sets tell me so: it's "brilliant", "the best TV show ever" and an Emmy award-winner.

Every TV critic, every arts journo, every blogger has showered it with the kind of adjectives that are reserved for Shakespeare and Dickens, that the crime drama is the pinnacle of television, the art form at its best.

The same is said for the other shows vying for the Emmys this year. Boardwalk Empire, Homeland, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Veep, Hatfield and McCoys, Sherlock, Downton Abbey - they are all championed as the shows you can't afford to miss.

But I have missed most of them. And let's face it so have you.

The viewing figures for these shows do not reflect the praise they get, and their prominence in popular culture. Very few of them are on network TV. The box sets don't sell as well as you'd think; more copies of NCIS and Glee are sold than Breaking Bad and Mad Men.

It's said that the last man to have read everything was the 18th century polymath Thomas Young. Back then it was possible to have ploughed your way through every available book, every scrap of literature and every scientific journal.

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